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Create What You Can't Have: Best Custom Projects (September 2020)

Creating your own custom projects is the best way to get your hands on the sneakers and accessories that match your personal style. Whether you're after an AF1 colorway that doesn't exist, or you have a dream designer collab in mind, making it yourself is often the only way to get it done.

With that in mind, check out some of our favorite customs from this month below to get some inspiration for your next big project.

Custom Barstool

While a lot of artists stick to sneakers, you can customize almost anything as long as it's made up of the right materials.

Sponsored artist @swellguycustoms stopped by earlier this month to create a tutorial showcasing how you can use Angelus paints to customize a faux leather barstool, and you can apply these techniques to pretty much any faux leather product.

Check out the full tutorial to see the tools and techniques you can use to recreate this unique project.

Jordan x Dior Custom Cleats

(source: @truebluecustoms)

Miss out on the Jordan 1 x Dior collaboration that dropped earlier this year?

This was one of the biggest collabs in recent history, but it was almost impossible to get your hands on. Fortunately, though, you can always recreate it for yourself.

Sponsored artist @truebluecustoms designed these custom cleats, featuring many of the same details from the original Jordan x Dior collab, including Dior-branded Swooshes, Air Dior branding, and a clean grey and white colorway.

Black Panther Balenciaga Runners

(source: @danielcordas)

With roles like the Black Panther and Jackie Robinson, Chadwick Boseman was a brilliant artist who inspired millions of people around the world.

To pay tribute to the late actor, sponsored artist @danielcordas designed these custom Balenciaga Runners, featuring an incredible illustration of one Chadwick Boseman's most iconic characters -- the Black Panther.

Halloween Custom Vans

(source: @lucha_loafers)

October is right around the corner, meaning now is a great time to start getting your Halloween customs ready.

Sponsored artist @lucha_loafers painted these custom Vans Slip-Ons, featuring some of the most recognizable villains of all time, from Hannibal Lecter to Freddy Krueger.

Cactus Jack Air Force 1

(source: @jaygotkustoms)

The Cactus Jack x McDonald's crossover is one of the weirder collabs we've seen yet, but that didn't stop the hype beasts from swarming McDonald's for a regular cheeseburger.

One good thing to come from this collab is this pair of custom Air Force 1s designed by @jaygotkustoms. These customs feature McDonald's x Travis Scott branding and a clean yellow, white, and brown color scheme to match the theme.

To see more great customs like this, make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram, and grab the materials you need for your next project from our online store.

Custom Shoes, Wallets & More: This Week's Best Customs

Angelus paints can be used for much more than custom sneakers, and to help demonstrate the wide range of Angelus paint applications, Enzo from @ehkcustoms stopped by to show us how to customize a Starbucks cold cup.

Custom Starbucks Cup
(source: @ehkcustoms)

With the proper preparation, materials, and paints, you can turn your Starbucks cup into a practical and usable piece of art.

Make sure to check out the full tutorial on YouTube to see what tools you need and what steps you need to follow to recreate this project.

What the Lobster Nike SB Dunk Low
(source: @sab_one)

The Lobster and What the Dunk are two of the most iconic Nike SB colorways of all time, and as great as they are on their own, they might be even better together.

Sponsored artist @sab_one took inspiration from both of these shoes to create a one-of-a-kind pair of "What the Lobster" Nike SB Dunk Lows, featuring unique color blocking, purple and blue lobster bands, mismatching black and red Swooshes, and more unique details.

Louis V Custom Cleats
(source: @solesbysir)

With the NFL regular season coming up around the corner, players are starting to get their custom gear ready for the year.

Featuring a clean red and white color scheme and red Louis V branding, sponsored artist @solesbysir created these custom Louis V x Jordan cleats for Javon Kinlaw (@mook_dawg3) of the San Francisco 49ers.

Lionel Messi Custom Vans
(source: @lucha_loafers)

Things are still unfolding, but it looks like Lionel Messi's time in Barcelona is finally coming to an end.

In light of this, now seems like the perfect time to bring back these great customs created by sponsored artist @lucha_loafers. Featuring two incredibly detailed portraits of Messi wearing the unmistakable Barcelona colors, these customs are the perfect way to commemorate a legendary stint in Barcelona.

Goyard Custom Wallet
(source: @boyarde)

Angelus paint can be used on much more than just shoes-- wallets, clothes, and even furniture are all great canvases for your art.

Sponsored artist @boyarde designed and painted this custom Goyard wallet featuring the one and only Kermit the Frog.

Make sure to follow Angelus on Instagram to see more great customs like these, and check out our website to grab the materials you need for your next creation.

Kobe Customs + More Great Kicks

Bel-Air AF1s

Kicking things off is sponsored artist @dejesuscustomfootwear teaching us how to recreate this iconic Bel-Air/90s-inspired pattern.

For this tutorial, Dylan used a pair of all-white AF1s to demonstrate how to create this pattern, but you can apply it to pretty much any pair of kicks you want.

To learn how you can recreate this design, make sure to check out the full tutorial on YouTube for a detailed walkthrough, including all the materials and stencils you need to get started.

Kobe Customs
(source: @mache275)

August 23 is Kobe Bryant's birthday, and to celebrate his amazing legacy, sponsored artist @mache275 created these custom Kobe's.

Featuring the unmistakable purple and gold Lakers color scheme alongside two incredibly detailed portraits of the man himself, these customs are a great way to pay respect to Kobe's lasting impact.

Free Joe Kelly Customs

Turns out professional athletes don't love it when a team cheats their way to a championship.

Sponsored artist @truebluecustoms designed these "Free Joe Kelly" custom cleats for Trevor Bauer of the Cincinnati Reds after Joe Kelly was suspended for intentionally throwing at Astros players.

Lakers Customs

Sponsored artist @truebluecustoms also came through with a pair of customs dedicated to celebrating Kobe's birthday and legacy.

These custom Jordan 13s feature several great details, including the Lakers purple and gold color scheme, both of Kobe's iconic 8 and 24 jerseys, and "Mamba Forever" and "Legends Never Die" inscribed on the toes.

Star Wars Vans
(source: @kendrascustoms)

Vans Slip-Ons are arguably the best shoe for detailed, large-scale paintings. Just take a look at these Star Wars customs by sponsored artist @kendrascustoms.

Featuring two of the series' many instantly-recognizable characters, Darth Vader and Chewbacca, these customs showcase insane attention to detail and are the perfect kicks for the hardcore Star Wars fan.

If you liked these customs, make sure to follow us on Instagram for more examples of what you can achieve with Angelus paints.

5 Best Sneakers for Customizing

Customizing a pair of sneakers is a great way to personalize your shoes to match your style and represent your taste, and the best part is that you only need a few things to get started -- some paint, brushes, and a pair of kicks.

But what sneakers should you choose for your next project?

While you can customize pretty much any shoe, certain silhouettes make things easier and give you more freedom to paint whatever you want.

From Air Force 1s to Vans Old Skools, here are five of the best sneakers for customizing.

1. Nike Air Force 1

Air Force 1

(source: Adidas); Price: $90

Without question, the white Air Force 1 is the all-time best sneaker for customization.

The all-white colorway, classic silhouette, and paneled layout create endless possibilities for original designs and color schemes. Not to mention, at only $90, the Air Force 1 is more accessible for artists who want to try their hand at making customs without coughing up too much cash.

Jay-Z Custom Air Force 1

(source: @bbizon)

These customs created by sponsored artist @bbizon are the perfect example of how you can transform a pair of AF1s into something completely unique.

Featuring artwork from Jay-Z's legendary discography, these Air Force 1s take advantage of the blank white canvas to create an incredibly detailed and original piece of artwork.

2. Air Jordan 1

Jordan 1

(source: Nike); Price: $115

As maybe the most important sneaker of all-time, it's not surprising that the Air Jordan 1 is also one of the most popular shoes for customizing.

Like the Air Force 1, the Jordan 1 upper features distinct sections that make it easy to paint custom colorways and designs, and while some colorways can be pretty expensive, the all-white Jordan 1 Mid is usually in stock on for a fairly low $115.

Custom Jordan 1

(source: @kingdom_made)

If you need some ideas to get started on your own custom 1s, check out these customs by sponsored artist @kingdom_made.

Featuring a red, white, and black color scheme, a clean wood grain finish, and a unique checkerboard pattern on the heels, these customs fully utilize the shoe's layout to create a one-of-a-kind design.

3. Vans Sk8-Hi

Vans Sk8-Hi

(source: Vans); Price: $65

The canvas Vans Sk8-Hi is an iconic high-top sneaker that features a canvas upper, a padded collar and heel, and rubber sole. The way the shoe is designed leaves you with a perfect picture frame in the middle that you can use to paint whatever design you want.

At only $65, the Vans Sk8-Hi is a cheap sneaker that's perfect for practicing new design techniques before trying them on more expensive kicks.

Sherbert Vans Sk8-Hi

(source: @swellguycustoms)

Vans Sk8-His are a perfect shoe for customizing, but since they're made out of canvas, there are a few extra steps to take to make sure your design sticks without messing up the fabric of the shoe.

To help you get started, sponsored artist @swellguycustoms created this tutorial to show you how to create these rainbow sherbet Vans, and how to properly blend and paint on canvas.

4. Air Jordan 3

Jordan 3 White Cement

(source: Nike); Price: Varies

The Air Jordan 3 isn't the cheapest or most widely-available shoe, but it's unique and instantly-recognizable design make it perfect for custom artists.

The patterned panels open up more unique design options, and the solid upper offers a perfect canvas for painting elaborate and detailed designs.

Animal Print Jordan 3

(source: @kendrascustoms)

If you're having trouble coming up with design ideas, you can always try creating your own take on an existing colorway.

Based on the Air Jordan 3 "Animal Instinct," sponsored artist @kendrascustoms created these custom 3s, featuring a white base, cheetah print on the toe panel and ankle collar, tiger stripes around the laces, and zebra print on the heel.

5. Vans Slip-On

Vans Slip-On

(source: Vans); Price: $50

Last up is the Vans Slip-On -- not the most exciting silhouette, but it is one of the best for artists that want a blank canvas to paint larger designs.

The solid white upper serves as the perfect surface for portrait work, large paintings, and similar, detail-oriented designs, and at $50, there's no reason not to pick up a pair and see what unique designs you can come up with.

Joker Vans Slip-On

(source: @lucha_loafers)

Vans Slip-Ons are perfect for larger, more detailed designs, like these Joker-themed customs by sponsored artist @lucha_loafers.

This artist takes advantage of the large blank canvas to paint portraits of the two most acclaimed Jokers of all-time: Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix.

Tip: Don't forget to use Angelus 2-Soft when painting canvas to make sure the paint adheres well and doesn't make the fabric become stiff.

To see more customs like these, make sure to follow us on Instagram, and don't forget to stop by our online store to pick up the tools and materials you need for your next pair of customs.

Custom Avatar Vans Tutorial + More Great Customs

Whether you're new to making customs or have been doing this for a while, there is always room for improvement -- that's why we collaborate with artists to create tutorials demonstrating a variety of design techniques and other tips and tricks.

This week, @mcvsso stopped by to customize a pair of Vans Slip Ons dedicated to the iconic show Avatar: The Last Airbender.

These customs feature some of the shows most popular characters, from Aang himself to his flying bison Appa, painted over a sky blue backdrop.

If you want to learn how to make these customs yourself, make sure to check out the full tutorial over on our YouTube channel.

David Bowie Customs

(source: @mache275)

Portrait work is one of the harder techniques to get down, but once you do, the results can be incredible.

Sponsored artist @mache275 painted these custom Jordan 1s, featuring portraits of the late, great David Bowie to match the cover art for his album Aladdin Sane.

Animal Print Jordan 3s

(source: @kendrascustoms)

Sponsored artist @kendrascustoms designed and painted these custom Jordan 3s, featuring zebra, cheetah, and tiger print panels.

If you want to learn how to apply these designs to your own customs, make sure to check out our tutorials on painting realistic zebra print and using stencils to create realistic tiger stripes.

Yeezy x Off-White x Dior

(source: @bbizon)

If your dream shoe collab doesn't exist, why not make it yourself?

Sponsored artist @bbizon created these Yeezy x Off-White x Dior customs, featuring Dior branding on the upper and Off-White branded overlays.

If the Dior x Jordan 1 is any indication, then a collab of this caliber would easily cost thousands of dollars, so do yourself a favor and learn how to make your own luxury customs.

Shattered Backboard Cleats

(source: @truebluecustoms)

With the MLB restart already in danger of being shut down, these next customs might not get much use, but they're still some of the cleanest cleats we've yet to see.

Sponsored artist @truebluecustoms designed these custom cleats based on the classic Jordan 1 "Shattered Backboard," featuring the same black, orange, and white colorway.

Make sure to follow us on Instagram to see more great customs like these, and stop by our online store to grab the tools and materials you need to create your own customs.

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